Still Here!

Hello dear blog friends! It has been a minute since I've stopped by here and poured myself some coffee while I sat at this keyboard to chat. I can't believe how time has flown and how life looks so much different than the last time I wrote. Like truly upside down, brand new, what is my life, kind of different!  God is so good and His plans for us over these last six months have been a rich exercise in His faithfulness and provision. These timely lyrics from an old hymn come to mind even now as I sit here...

"Blessed assurance Jesus is mine...Perfect submission, all is at rest, I in my Savior am happy and blessed, watching and waiting, looking above, filled with his goodness, lost in his love...This is my story and this is my song, praising my savior all the day long!"

All is certainly not perfect, it never is on this side of Heaven, but for sure this has been a season in our life of being filled with His goodness and I am anxious to tell you all about it! I really didn't intend to leave you with a massive cliffhanger like my last post here, but truthfully life just sort of got away from me in the upheaval that a move with three children brings and then I found myself doing lots of updating on social media instead of my blog, simply because it's much, much easier! BUT, I've had sort of a gaping hole in my person that has always been filled with the satisfaction of writing and getting my words out, and so here I am, attempting to find my footing again and tell a few more stories. I'm totally overwhelmed about where to start! The kids are growing like little weeds and even in the last few weeks, we have just looked at them with huge eyes and realized our babies aren't really babies anymore. They are all doing so well and they fill us with joy and pride, but they also wear us down! haha! My season of motherhood is shifting once again with TWO kids in school all day (WHAT?!?!?!) and I find myself taking a deep breath as I reinvent parts of me and embrace lots of new!

I don't think there is any good way to smooth over my absence from here, so I guess I'm doing a massive cannonball in the deep end today! If I had to guess, showing you our home might just be the best way to resolve the cliffhanger of selling the condo, am I right??  I have just a little time before I have kids getting off the bus, but I'd love to show you two of my very favorite spaces, our living room and our front porch. They are two of the most put-together spots in the house, I have spent most of my time on our main level for obvious reasons, but having outdoor spaces has been the biggest treat for both Travis and I. We ached for that for so long after making the most of our tiny condo porch and both our backyard space and front yard space have been the best reward for our patience! I went a little bananas with my flowers this year, mostly because I had YEARS of pent-up creativity and lots of "someday when I am in a house I will..." scenarios to play with. I'm sure the neighbors have wondered about me more than a few times! ha ha! I am having the best time nesting over here and of course I'm loving the change of seasons too. My mind is exploding with creative juices and a brand new (to us) home to decorate. I'll give you the back story of how we landed here in another post, but for today, here are some fun before and after pictures! 
 We took a few pics in the condo the night before we closed on it. It was emotional for me! I didn't think it would be but when you bring 3 babies home to those walls to experience all of their "firsts", it's hard to just walk away.
To think we moved here with a dog and no kids and we left with no dog and 3 big kids! Lots of life in those 9 years and lots of memories too.  Only in the last month or so have our kids started to call our new house, home. They missed the condo for quite awhile, even though they loved our new place too, but I think they struggled to let go of the "familiarity" and how comfortable they were there. It's so ironic, we longed to get out from under that condo for many years and when it came time to leave, we were all a little weepy saying goodbye!
 But we did move on and into a brand new reality! This is a picture from our first week in our new house, we were all so happy to have SO MUCH SPACE. We almost didn't know what to do with ourselves.  We nearly tripled our square footage in this move and not surprisingly, after we emptied our storage unit and garage, we quickly filled this place up.  I have been hanging onto many things for years knowing we would want them someday. I'm so happy our someday came this year!
All of my good before pics are on my phone and not uploaded so I'll just show you what I took with my camera for now. This was our living room on the weekend we moved in!
It is a nice big room with a fireplace that we loved, a mantle for me to decorate (YAY!) and wonderful windows that let tons of light in. I was super happy with the layout of this house and all the natural light. The only thing we did in the whole house before we moved furniture in, was to paint that wall that the TV is mounted on. It was cherry red before and I just couldn't wrap my mind around making that work! Thankfully the owner of our house was a-ok with us painting it and we had just enough of the original color left to cover it. I am so happy we did that! Did I mention that we are renting in my last posts??  I will save that story for another time, but in case I didn't mention it yes, we are renting and we are very thankful for the way the Lord brought us to this house. We signed a two year lease here and already we just love it!  Considering what's out there and the lack of control that renting can bring, this house was such a great fit for us and among many more important things, selfishly I was very thankful for it's neutral color scheme to work with!
I found this gem from our first few weeks here. Travis, Ava and I all celebrated birthdays within our first month here and I think that was a great way for us to begin making new memories. Already the kids look little in this pic compared to today! I'm glad that our living room has already held milestones and sweet times together. It is definitely our most "lived in" space!
After many arrangements and re-arrangements, this is what my living room looks like as of today! I just vacuumed it and picked it up while the kids were at school so that's why it's perfect! Please know that it almost never looks this clean, haha! By tonight the pillows will be strung all over the place and we'll be stepping over toys and backpacks like every other normal family. We love this room and are thankful for enough seating to pack lots of people in here. A few weeks before we sold our condo I found this couch and the chair/ottoman on Craig's List! It was a crazy amazing deal and almost brand new. We love it so much and I'm so glad it works in this room, we sort of took a chance on it but it's perfect for us. 
When the kids went back to school last week I let myself do what I loved while they were gone, including getting my Fall stuff out! The color scheme of this house was made for Fall and I was like a little kid in a candy store getting it all put together. Don't even talk to me about Christmas! I will likely pass out with excitement over decorating for that! 
Aside from our Craig's List deal and some new lampshades, I didn't really have to buy anything for this room. I've just made lots of our old things work for now and I'm happy that they do! I couldn't wait to get a gallery wall up and I love how it's all come together. Things always look a little different in pictures versus real life but the good news is, I like it a lot in real life! I picked up a couple pops of orange and gold to add in for Fall and I love the change up for the season. 
We kept our old TV cabinet solely for storage. It took a few moves to get it in its' permanent spot but I like where it landed. Besides, Travis said he will never, ever move that thing again so I have decided it's perfect! It's crazy heavy, I can't blame him! 
It's probably the designer in me combined with my extremely sentimental side but I love furniture that tells a story and it's been fun to use/re-use some of our things in this house. This little white table reminds me of my first post-college job! I bought it in Florida from the little Interior Design studio I worked for. Over the years it's been a side table in our guest room and then in Ava's nursery before it went to storage for a few years. For now it's in our living room and I have loved seeing it again! I didn't envision it in here but I have learned to shop my house before deciding I need to buy something. Many things have found new homes and new uses.

I've been on a major creative bender since sending the kids back to school! I think all of my creativity from this summer has been bottled up inside me and was dying to come out. I basically managed children for the last three months from sun-up to sundown and it has been kind of fun to do a few projects now that I have a little more time! I made this sign last week and I found a home for it on my mantle. It may migrate to the porch but right now it lives here! Welcome to my never-ending carousel of re-arranging. It's one of my spiritual gifts! Ha!
That basket of mums used to be my Mom's but she passed it on to me a few years ago. I always loved it in her house! I remember when she bought it, believe it or not. I would always get excited when it came out every Fall and then sad to see it put away until the next year. I love that it lives in my house now! And as a bonus, it also fills a really odd/challenging space next to our fireplace. Score! 
I've got a thing for pumpkins and by "a thing" I mean, an obsession.
It's a problem. A problem I have no intention of correcting.
This is our cute little porch! Last week I cleaned up my summer pots and traded lots of them for Fall mums and some ornamental kale. I loved the summer look with lots of bright colors out here too, but this feels like a great change up. It's definitely one of my happy places!
I also made that gigantic welcome sign because, well, pinterest made me do it! It's a little big, but I think I like it! You cannot accuse me of not being welcoming, haha! 
I have also had that porch furniture from my single, Florida days! It too has been in storage for awhile but I think we are both happy to be reacquainted again. It's the perfect size for this porch and being out here is one of my favorite places to be! Ava and I like to call that plant on top of the bistro table, the Rapunzel plant! We planted a little fairy garden in there and over the summer it has grown and grown and grown! The trailing leaves remind us of Rapunzel's hair!
I traded in my bright summer cushions for a little more muted color scheme out here...I know, I know, who cares?? Well, I do! Those are the sorts of dumb things running through my head on a daily basis. Welcome to the crazy! I'm waiting to add a fun throw and some more pillows (because you can never have enough of either!) from my sister in Iowa as soon as I see her next. I love to read out here and drink a little coffee while I wait for the bus. It's also been a fun play spot for our kids and all the neighbor kids too... I loved sitting out here this summer to chat with friends and watch our kids play. It still feels like the best surprise every morning! I hope I always have a front porch! 
Oh Fall and all your colors, how I've missed you! 
So there you have it! Two of my favorite spaces and a clumsy return to blogging, but a return nonetheless! I've missed it here and I look forward to stopping in a little more frequently. We are truly so grateful and thankful to the Lord for what this year has brought. A new address and other new adventures as well, but mostly for His faithful and steady provision for us. We would never have dreamed this one year ago, in fact we had never even driven through this neighborhood back then! But that's what I love about the Lord! He always knows what's best and His timing is perfect. If I have learned one big thing this year, I think it would be that our God is so trustworthy. When the road ahead seems dimly lit or completely foreign, that is no indication of whether or not God is present or actively involved on our behalf! He is present and we can trust Him completely with what we don't know and can't see. He has never let us down or failed us and life with Him in the lead is more than we could possibly ask or imagine!  He is the grand adventure of our lives and we have been reminded in this whole move to leave our anxiety in His very capable hands and in the most gracious act, to trade our worries for his peace. He is so good like that and He delivers every. single. time.
Thanks for being excited about what He did for us this past year! It's not the end of the story, He's still doing a lot, but it sure was a sweet page turn in our book!